Paying for EPA cost recovery

The EPA will charge a fee to recover its costs associated with orders it has issued or voluntary management proposals for contaminated land.

Cost recovery fees cover administrative costs of activities undertaken by the EPA associated with orders and voluntary management proposals, as set out in section 34 of the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997. These are

  • preliminary investigation orders
  • voluntary management proposals
  • management orders
  • ongoing maintenance orders

See the Role of the EPA for information on the orders and voluntary management proposals. The EPA's approach to compliance with orders and voluntary management proposals is outlined in the Contaminated Sites Compliance Statement (PDF 664KB).

The EPA can also recover costs associated with the prevention, clean-up, and noise control notices under Part 4.5 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

People who can be charged for cost recovery for contaminated land include

  • the business or individuals who caused the contamination
  • landowners
  • ‘notional’ owners (for example, financiers) 

Activities included in cost recovery

EPA activities include

  • preparing and serving an order
  • assessing and settling the terms of a voluntary management proposal
  • monitoring actions under an order or an approved voluntary management proposal
  • seeking compliance with an order or approved voluntary management proposal
  • matters related with these activities, such as meetings, communications, and legal advice

There are no exemptions for cost recovery fees.

Cost recovery fee rates

From 1 September 2019, the fee is $96 per hour as set in the Contaminated Land Management (Adjustable Amounts) Notice 2019 (PDK 590KB). GST is not applied to the recovery fee.

The hourly rate for the fee is set under clause 4(2) of the Contaminated Land Management Regulation 2013. It is adjusted on 1 September each year, in line with movements in the Public Sector Wage Price Index. 

Making a payment

The EPA will send you a draft cost recovery notice by registered post to advise you of the fee. You must tell the EPA any concerns you have within 14 days of the date you receive the notice. Contact details of an EPA officer who can assist are included in the notice.

  • If you do not provide comments, you will be issued with a final notice and an invoice.
  • If you do provide comments, the EPA will consider them and contact you if necessary before issuing a final notice and invoice.

If the contamination is complex, and management and remediation are likely to take a long time, the EPA may issue a series of cost recovery notices and invoices throughout the management period. 

Payments are due within 30 days of the invoice date with instructions provided on the invoice.

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